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Julius Caesar's Death
- Julius Caesar
- July 100 B.C.
- March 15, 44 B.C.
Julius Caesar was a Roman general, statesman and leader. He consolidated his political power through a series of war campaigns that brought the Roman Empire to the edge of what's now Britain and Germany. He's considered one of the greatest military commanders ever.
He was born into a wealthy, influential family. In fact, the name Caesar derived from "caesarian section", which was how one of his ancestors was born. (Apparently, speculation that Julius was delivered by a "C-section" is not true.)
Caesar's battlefield successes led him to consolidate power. After a civil war, he became the unrivaled leader of Rome, and was proclaimed "dictator in perpetuity."
Coins were made with his likeness (while he was still alive) and he was given the right to speak first at Senate meetings.
With a populist, "man of the people" approach, the middle and lower classes adored him. The upper classes in Roman society did not.
On March 15, 44 BC, (the Ides of March, as Shakespeare wrote) Caesar was due to appear at a session of the Roman Senate. A group of assassins cornered him and stabbed him 23 times, killing him.
The assassins scattered and Caesar's body remained on the Senate floor for close to three hours before it was carried away.
This is the spot in Rome today …
…where it's believed to have taken place, similar to the sites of some of history's other unforgettable assassinations, like Washington's Ford Theatre…
…where Abraham Lincoln was shot…
…or Dallas' Dealey Plaza….
…where John F. Kennedy was killed.
Julius Caesar's body was cremated and his designated successor, Octavius, took over.
He came to be known as Augustus Caesar.
What kind of influence did Julius Caesar have? He reverberates until this day. The title Kaiser and Czar are derivations of Caesar.
He even influenced the calendar, by instituting leap year at the end of February every fourth year. That Julian calendar is similar to the one we use today.
And here's a little known fact. Did you ever notice that September is the ninth month on the calendar, while "SEPT" come from seven in Latin? October is our tenth month, but the "OCT" the prefix means eight, like in octagon? The same is true for November. It's the eleventh month on the calendar, while "NOV" means nine in its Latin derivation. And for that matter, December is the twelfth month of the year, but "DEC" denotes ten, as in decade.
It's all due to the fact that those months were pushed back in line! Because of the Caesar's, a couple of months were added mid-year. July and August were named after Julius Caesar and his appointed successor, Augustus.